|Microsoft DirectX 9.0|
Microsoft?DirectPlay?provides your application with a virtual network connection that enables you to communicate with other computers in the same way, regardless of type of network involved. To provide this level of abstraction, network connections are made through a service provider. When you have selected a service provider, your application uses the appropriate DirectPlay methods to communicate with other computers in a session. The service provider handles the details of communicating over the selected network hardware.
DirectPlay includes service providers for four types of network connections: Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX), modem, and serial. See DirectPlay Address Objects for a discussion of how to select a service provider.